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The Circus (1928)

The Tramp finds work and the girl of his dreams at a circus.

Director:

Charles Chaplin (as Charlie Chaplin)

Writer:

Charles Chaplin (as Charlie Chaplin)
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Al Ernest Garcia ... The Circus Proprietor and Ring Master (as Allan Garcia)
Merna Kennedy ... His Step-Daughter - A Circus Rider
Harry Crocker Harry Crocker ... Rex - A Tight Rope Walker
George Davis George Davis ... A Magician
Henry Bergman Henry Bergman ... An Old Clown
Tiny Sandford Tiny Sandford ... The Head Property Man (as Stanley J. Sandford)
John Rand John Rand ... An Assistant Property Man
Steve Murphy Steve Murphy ... A Pickpocket
Charles Chaplin ... A Tramp (as Charlie Chaplin)
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Storyline

The Tramp finds himself at a circus where he is promptly chased around by the police who think he is a pickpocket. Running into the Bigtop, he is an accidental sensation with his hilarious efforts to elude the police. The circus owner immediately hires him, but discovers that the Tramp cannot be funny on purpose, so he takes advantage of the situation by making the Tramp a janitor who just happens to always be in the Bigtop at showtime. Unaware of this exploitation, the Tramp falls for the owner's lovely acrobatic stepdaughter, who is abused by her father. His chances seem good, until a dashing rival comes in and Charlie feels he has to compete with him. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@home.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ring | tramp | police | circus | rival | See All (152) »

Taglines:

You've waited two years for this one, but oh boy---here it comes---the greatest comedy of all time! It's a circus! Positively the greatest show of mirth! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

January 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cirkus See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$900,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charles Chaplin's studio burned down during production. This, combined with a number of major personal issues that arose during production, led to his nervous breakdown (he spent time recovering in New York after about two-thirds of the film had been shot). See more »

Goofs

While the Tramp is locked into the cage, the lion is lying with his head some distance from the side wall in most shots until he gets up. But in one close-up shot just after the Tramp caught the water tray, the lion's head is suddenly right next to that wall. See more »

Quotes

A Tramp: If you strike that girl, I'll quit! And what's more, I want what I'm worth.
The Circus Proprietor and Ring Master: I'll give you fifty dollars a week.
[the tramp shakes his head]
The Circus Proprietor and Ring Master: Sixty!
[the tramp mouths 'no']
The Circus Proprietor and Ring Master: I'll double it!
A Tramp: Nothing less than a hundred.
[the Circus Proprietor agrees and they shake on it]
See more »

Alternate Versions

Chaplin replaced the original credits of this film when he reissued it in 1969. In their place there is an opening scene featuring Merna Kennedy on the trapeze while Chaplin sings a song, then the image fade to the credits of that version with no cast nor technical credits. See more »

Connections

Featured in Unknown Chaplin: The Happiest Years (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Swing Little Girl
(1969) (uncredited)
Written and Performed by Charles Chaplin for the 1969 release
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

The first silent film I experienced was The Circus.
24 January 2011 | by j-maxon1See all my reviews

The Circus was my first experience with a silent movie of any length. I never thought it was possible but I really enjoyed the movie and laughed through the entire movie. The comedy was clean and still fun unlike many movies today. It was refreshing to laugh so much at something and not have to hear foul language every other sentence. The way the characters fit their roles really helped with not being able to hear them. The exaggerated actions and facial expressions were key to telling the story and keeping my attention. Another very important part was the use of music to set the mood and pace of a scene which worked well. This film has made me want watch more Chaplin films and try other silent films. I recommend watching this film whether you are used to this type of film or if you are looking to get into watching silent films. Excellent Movie!!


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